Recently @indecisionpersonified asked me a question in the Thesis Whisperer feedback forum: “… I have just moved continents and been accepted into a PhD program and have six free months before I start. I was wondering whether you had any advice to give people like me on how best to use the time before starting […]
Jerry Booth is a sociologist who was a Head and Faculty Director in departments of art, design and media until joining a medical school. He is particularly interested in the organisation of learning through practice, and is writing a PhD on how learning outcomes are translated through the curriculum into clinical placements. The title of […]
This post was written by Linda Murray who recently submitted her PhD on Maternal Mental Health in Central Vietnam through Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane. Her thesis was completed on nine desks, in four cities and two countries. She now lives in Hobart, Tasmania and works part-time at the University of Tasmania teaching Global […]
This post is by Cassily Charles from Charles Sturt University – a fellow thesis Whisperer. Cassily is the academic writing coordinator for Higher Degree Research Students in the CSU Academic Support Unit. Cassily discusses misunderstandings about writing style and how they can lead to conflict between students and supervisors. This post is enlightening to me as an educator – I hope you will be enlightened too.
This is a story about a doctoral student named Laura (a real person, but not her real name) and how she came to pull her hair out (well a few hairs anyway).
Laura began her PhD this year and really hit the ground running – within a few weeks, she was giving her supervisors many many pages about the literature on her topic. Laura’s supervisors are conscientious, organised and well-intentioned. They gave her masses of feedback on her drafts, with many helpful comments about content, style and structure, including comments such as: ‘good observation – now relate this to an over-all argument’ and ‘engage critically with these definitions’.
This is where things went wrong and Laura pulled some hairs out…
Last week @lanceb147 contacted me on Twitter looking for advice on doing a PhD part time. @lanceb147 is not alone. There’s a surprising number of students doing their PhD part time. At RMIT where I used to work 50% of research students were enrolled part time and this institutional profile is not unusual in Australia. Some are self funded students from the beginning; others have been forced to take up part time study after their scholarship rans out.
Many academics have the impression that part time students are troublesome and take ages to finish, but a study by Pearson et al (see reference below) showed that students who study part time for their whole degree finish sooner and have better results than full time students. Clearly they are doing something right!
I did my research masters over three years part time and worked for 2 days a week for all but 6 months of my PhD. So I know a lot about managing study part time – for me. If there’s anything I have learned about PhD study in all my years of whisperering it’s that everyone is different. So I asked on Twitter if part time students would share their time management secrets with me – and what a rich treasure trove of information they gave me!
I reckon part time students could teach full time students a thing or two about how to manage a long term research project. I have enough from my Twitter conversations for about ten posts, but I will confine myself here to five
Many research students in Australia will be planning to submit their thesis next month. Let’s fast forward to that sweet moment you find out your examiners reports are back, or completed your Viva and been told you have passed. Congratulations! Time to ring up the bank and the passport office to get that long awaited […]
Suffice to say I only had one emotion when Kylie Budge, PhD student at the University of Melbourne and academic at RMIT, sent me this post. Envy. Let Kylie give you a justification for planning that thesis writing retreat you have always wanted… Ever considered the idea of taking yourself away for a self-imposed thesis […]
For most students, the problems will be temporary and relatively easily dealt with. Taking up a complaint with the person concerned is the usual, and usually successful, first step. Most complaints never get lodged under formal complaint policies, however this is not always the case as some disputes and concerns cannot be resolved so simply… read on to find out how to complain – and be heard.
Happy new year everyone! Did you make any resolutions? Broken any of them yet? I like New Year’s eve celebrations; for one night at least, profound Change seems possible. It’s refreshing – even if the next day you slip into comfortable old habits. Now we are a month in I have no doubt that many […]
Recently a Forbes article claimed that being an academic was the least stressful job of 2013. However, a storm of protest on social media forced the author to add an addendum acknowledging that this probably wasn’t the case. In fact academics work a a lot and that work tends to intensify in the so called ‘down time’: January here in Australia and July in the North of the world. Freed somewhat from the distraction of emails and the responsibility of caring for students, us academics inevitably find ourselves not at rest but facing the deep end of the ‘to do’ list.